Frasier: The Complete Third Season Studio: Paramount Year: 1995-96 Rated: NR Length: 24 episodes, 9 hours, 3 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo Surround English Closed Captioned Special Features: Five featurettes No S.R.P. Expected to sell for under $40 USD Release Date: May 25, 2004 Season 3 of Frasier continues with 24 fresh and funny episodes set around the delightfully bombastic radio shrink and his family. The season finds Frasier as he deals with a new station manager, an old love from Boston, his brother’s deteriorating marriage and a host of other things. There are few sitcoms as consistently smart and funny as this one. This season includes the following notable episodes: Kisses Sweeter Than Wine Niles recommends a contractor to fix a scratch in Frasier’s floor on the day Fraiser is to host a wine tasting. One thing leads to another, and the entire apartment is torn apart just hours before the party. The Last Time I Saw Maris Maris throws Niles out of the house, setting up a continuing thread which will last several seasons. Moon Dance This episode was penned by most of the writing staff and directed by Kelsey Grammer. Daphne gives Niles dancing lessons, then accompanies him to a ball. The episode won an emmy for writing. The Show Where Diane Comes Back Diane comes to Seattle for the grand opening of a play she wrote - patterned after her experiences at Cheers. A Word to the Wiseguy Niles owes a “favor” to a man of questionable character after having some parking tickets “fixed.” This episode garnered an emmy nomination for guest Harris Yulin. Crane vs. Crane The brothers face off on opposite sides in court, as expert witnesses. The Focus Group Only one member of a focus group gives Frasier’s radio show a less than perfect rating. Frasier, of course, obsesses over this. Video The Video for Frasier season three is quite good, given its videotape origins. Contrast is high, with good definition in the whites as well as in the shadows. The picture is sharp for a video-based source. Color saturation is very nice. I didn’t notice any compression artifacts in the five episodes that I screened for this review. This is not demo material, but I think it looks every bit as good as one can expect, given the source elements. Very nice. Audio The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. There is good frequency response. Dialog sounds great and is pinned front and center. Music sounds excellent, with good bass response. Surrounds are used primarily for music reverb and laugh track. This sounds as good as one would expect a TV sitcom to sound. Special Features Disc 1 Celebrity Voices Matthew Broderick Carrie Fisher Teri Garr Blair Brown Laura Dern Disc 2 Celebrity Voices Cyd Charisse Ray Liotta Disc 3 Celebrity Voices Jodie Foster Joan Allen Katarina Witt Jerry Orbach Billy Barty Eric Idle Jane Pauley Disc 4 The Crane Brothers Remember Season Three (12:49) Kelsey Grammar discusses his character’s evolution on the show, and about directing for the first time in season 3 (“Moon Dance”). He also talks about the ensemble, and the quality of the actors on Frasier. David Hyde Pierce talks about Grammar’s directing, having nothing but positive comments. Rehearsal footage of “Moon Dance” is shown. Pierce discusses the fact that “Moon Dance” won an emmy for writing. He also talks about having to learn to Tango for “Moon Dance.” Finally, Pierce talks about “The Last Time I Saw Maris.” And the fact that, once the details of the character of Maris became more and more bizarre, they realized they would never show the character, because they could never cast the part. A Conversation with Art Director Roy Christopher (8:29) Christopher talks about the design of the radio station, patterned after a new facility in LA (ABC Radio). The Coffee House (Cafe Nervosa) and apartment sets are also discussed. Celebrity Voices David Duchovny Bulldog Crazy (2:02) A collection of clips and quips - hardly worth the time. The Mystery of Maris: The Break-up Begins (2:16) A collection of clips and quips - hardly worth the time. Final Thoughts This TV on DVD set is light on the bonus features (there are no commentaries as in season 2 - and there are only a couple of featurettes worth watching), but it delivers strong audio and video quality. Priced to sell at under $40 USD, this is a must-buy for Frasier fans.